Toshiba Demos Tech That Will Deliver Huge Capacity HDDs Topping 30TB In The Near Future
Solid-state storage may have all-but-replaced spinning disks in consumer hardware, but hard drives still hit a sweet spot between the speed of SSDs and the price-per-gigabyte of tape that remains extremely important for many enterprise and cloud customers. Thanks to a new joint development from Toshiba, SDK, and TDK, that price-per-gigabyte advantage may grow even further soon.
The specific technology that Toshiba has pioneered is called "Microwave Assisted Switching-Microwave Assisted Magnetic Recording", or "MAS-MAMR". The Japanese company explains that increasing HDD data density requires overcoming a "trilemma" of issues: reducing physical size of magnetic grains on the disc, improving thermal stability of the grains, and maintaining recording performance at a given density.
Overcoming these three issues at once required Toshiba to invent a "bi-oscillation-type spin-torque oscillator device" that irradiates microwaves in a "two-layer field generating layer," as apparently shown in the diagram below:
Toshiba already ships drives based on MAMR technology, but that form is known as "Flux Control MAMR," and obviously not as advanced as the new tech. Toshiba's current FC-MAMR drives can store up to 18TB per drive. The new MAS-MAMR technology could allow Toshiba to begin shipping drives "with large capacity of over 30TB".
However, despite Toshiba repeatedly indicating that it plans for "early commercialization" of MAS-MAMR technology, the company gave no actual timeline for when drives bearing the technology would find their way to market.